Cleverly combining historic features and contemporary design, this seven-story, 131-room hotel is in one the city’s edgier neighbourhoods. The 1904 Beaux-Arts property has a triangular shape reminiscent of New York’s Flatiron building. The bold interiors (the work of US design maestro Kelly Wearstler) blend restored period details with mid century, Art Deco and modern furnishings in clashing patterns and textures, creating a unique yet inviting residential feel. Service is considered but understated. Rooms, though small, feature excellent tech, Aesop amenities and a decadent mini-bar. The thriving rooftop bar is the place to see and be seen.
On the edge of Mid-Market and Tenderloin, this once-shabby area is slowly morphing into a hub of cool. It’s an easy walk northwest to Union Square; in the other direction, the upscale eateries of Hayes Valley are no more than 10 minutes on foot. There are excellent transport links, and San Francisco Airport is just over 20 kilometres away.
Compact yet sophisticated, the décor is mostly a tribute to monochrome. The Premier King room has more than 10 patterns in black, white and grey: four different wallpapers from floral to geometric, a houndstooth-inspired bedhead and series of stripes on the lounge and armchair. Overall, it creates a sensibility that’s unexpectedly chic. In-room tech is noteworthy: a smart TV for streaming, VIFA bluetooth loudspeakers replace the old-school clock radio and a tablet pre-loaded with hotel and neighbourhood info operates like a digital concierge.
Food and drink
Attached to the lobby is Villon (above), a Tiffany-blue-hued jewel box with high ceilings, frilly chandeliers and a cosy ambiance that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rooftop bar Charmaine’s, though, is where the crowds converge. With floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s an ideal spot to snack on charcuterie or beef sliders while imbibing inventive cocktails (the Proper Cup, a take on a Pimm’s Cup, is one of the most popular choices). Outside, the grey-and-white checkerboard terrace has 270-degree views of the cityscape and chairs huddled around glass-and-steel fire pits – this is San Fran, after all, and it’s likely to be breezy.
For business travellers
There are two conference/meeting rooms on the basement level; both are equipped with smart TVs with AV and streaming capabilities. If you need to entertain a smaller group (up to 14) over drinks and food, the vibrant private dining room, Gilda’s, is perfect.
For wellness travellers
The 24/7 gym on the basement level has eight cardio machines – a mix of treadmills, bikes, elliptical and rowers – as well as ample free weights, resistance equipment and weight machines. Complimentary Shinola bicycles are available for city exploration.
The fab factor
Your sleep will be deep and dreamy thanks to the Californian-designed handmade Aireloom mattresses, which are more cloudlike than you can possibly imagine.
Best for: Creatives who appreciate style and substance
Number of rooms: 131
Rates from: US$350 (about $485)
Wi-fi: Free for 10Mbps for up to three devices. You can upgrade to 20Mbps for US$20 per day.
Parking: No on-site self-parking but there is 24-hour valet.
Address: 1100 Market Street, San Francisco (Entrance is at 45 McAllister Street)
Telephone: +1 415 735 7777